Providing effective employee feedback is an extremely important part of every workplace environment. It also can be mind-numbingly tedious.
If you review content for others, you know that providing feedback is a necessary hurdle to clear before a project can be finalized.
Regardless of the content’s purpose and its target audience, all projects should go through multiple rounds of purposeful, detailed review before they go out the door. If you’ve been through the feedback process before, you know that it can be more complicated than necessary.
This can often mean scheduling hours of meetings or writing long emails just to give feedback and go over specifics, only to have comments be misinterpreted or resolved incorrectly.
We’ve put together a list of best practices for providing clear and effective feedback without getting caught up in a never-ending loop.
That way, you can:
- Avoid the common pitfalls known to slow down the project delivery process.
- Provide positive feedback that encourages employee engagement.
- Help employees improve their performance.
- Cut down on endless review cycles.
For a great video on providing feedback at work, watch the video below!
Simple feedback methods: How to give feedback to employees
Try using the following feedback techniques the next time you are providing feedback to employees. You’ll speed up the process and get better results from your team.
Tip #1: Limit the number of reviewers and set clear expectations
Everyone has an opinion. To keep a project timeline on track and give helpful feedback to creators, limit the number of people who review it.
This allows the creator to focus their attention and make the revision process efficient.
When feedback is requested from an entire department or even several team members, the process gets chaotic very quickly. Opening the floodgates can result in a large number of conflicting opinions coming from stakeholders, each evaluating through their own unique lens.
If you feel that a project assigned to a creator will require buy-in from a larger group, it may be more appropriate to include additional people in advance during a brainstorming process as opposed to during the content review. Otherwise, limit the number of reviewers to only the essential stakeholders.
Similar to limiting the number of reviewers, each reviewer should have something specific to pay attention to and provide feedback about. This offers a number of advantages:
1. It ensures all aspects of the content get reviewed.
2. Each reviewer’s strengths can be used in the most effective ways.
3. It keeps the reviewers on track.
For example, someone might be assigned to focus specifically on the overall flow of a press release and how the portions fit together. Someone else might focus on more technical aspects, such as the spelling and grammar.
This ensures that the review process is smooth and useful for all parties.
Tip #2: Limit the number of review cycles
It’s very frustrating for a creator to receive feedback from one reviewer and make changes only to receive completely different comments from another reviewer and be forced to repeat the process. The same goes for when one reviewer keeps coming back over and over with more changes.
When assigning reviewers to a project, it’s often more efficient to have them all take a look around the same time. That way, the creator doesn’t have to make multiple rounds of changes and can instead take all feedback into account at once.
Give reviewers a definitive deadline to review a project so that the process doesn’t get dragged out.
Once all necessary reviewers and stakeholders have provided feedback and the creator has made changes, make sure the content is reviewed one last time before it’s marked as complete. This could be done by a manager, project lead, etc.
If you have overall feedback regarding how a creator could improve their work, don’t wait until a milestone like an annual performance review. Schedule a feedback session and discuss the content creation process on a more consistent basis.
Delivering feedback regularly will help employees feel confident and improve their performance, which helps them grow professionally and ultimately reduces the time spent giving feedback on individual projects.
Tip #3: Give honest and candid feedback
To produce the best final product, it’s crucial that you deliver honest feedback to content creators. It may be tempting to take the easy route and say, “Everything looks great! there’s nothing I’d change!” or gloss over details that you think would be better off if they were tweaked a bit.
Don’t do that. It’s a disservice to everyone involved, and to the project itself.
Instead, offer up valid, constructive criticism. This will push creators to generate great content, and it will help them grow professionally. Avoid vague terms, and give specific instructions on what you feel needs updating.
After all, you certainly don’t want to be the reason that a project is stalled!
This also ensures that your feedback loop is efficient. If effective feedback is not given and incorporated, reputations are at risk, and it may affect the level of project ownership and trust made available by stakeholders in the future.
Tip #4: Use images
When it comes to content reviews, many tend to rely on a process that is quite manual (email, meetings, etc.), making the feedback loop frustrating and time-consuming for both those providing feedback and for the creator who needs to incorporate it.
Providing feedback for projects is a task which, for most people, involves noting specific elements and describing what they’d like to see altered by writing lengthy descriptions.
However, using a tool that is specifically built for this process can save you time and headaches. At TechSmith, we use Snagit.
Snagit makes marking up a screenshot or document super easy. You can add arrows, callouts, and more! You can also use it on web pages and software UX.
By using an image with markup, creators will be able to more clearly visualize the changes you’d like to see and exactly where they need to be implemented.
Tip #5: Use videos
If a still image with markup simply won’t give a detailed enough explanation, Snagit has a solution! Record a quick screencast and talk through your feedback in real time.
Recording your screen and narrating your feedback is a quick and easy way to give detailed feedback with crystal-clear instructions that creators can understand.
Your team members will be able to easily hear your voice and tone during the recording, which will help them know what things you are (and aren’t) satisfied with.
Plus, they can go back and rewatch your screencast as many times as they need. No more setting up Zoom calls over and over to discuss the same points or repeatedly clarify feedback.
There you have it! Hopefully, you’ve found these tips helpful to simplify the feedback process and make both your job and content creators’ jobs easier.
Frequently asked questions:
It’s always best to deliver feedback in the form of honest, constructive criticism. Sugarcoating your opinion or tiptoeing around what needs to be said only makes the process harder. Tools like Snagit can help you leave clear, constructive feedback for coworkers.
Send content only to the necessary reviewers and stakeholders, and request all feedback by a certain deadline. That way, you’ll ensure the process keeps moving.
Seek out people who will give constructive, honest feedback without tiptoeing around the necessary changes.
Use a tool like Snagit to help make feedback clear and concise. Set deadlines and make sure to communicate with reviewers about what is being asked of them.